An expansion team with the smallest roster in MLS might relish the prospect of being off two weeks in a row early in its first season, but Los Angeles FC is not your ordinary expansion team.
LAFC became the first expansion team to win its first two games on the road. It followed up on its 1-0 win over the MLS Cup 2017 runner-up Seattle Sounders with an even more impressive win: 5-1 at
Real Salt Lake, one of the hottest teams in MLS over the second half of the 2017 season.
Next up? The LA Galaxy. Only LAFC has to wait three weeks for the first LA derby.
Uruguayan teenager Diego Rossi, who had the lone goal at Seattle, scored
two goals and assisted on the other three goals to become just the sixth MLS player in league history to be involved in five goals in a game.
“We work in a good way," said LAFC
coach Bob Bradley, "and we think that we have good players and every week we try to make our football better, so look it’s two weeks in and we’re not going to go crazy, but
we’re happy today that we could follow up the win in Seattle with a different kind of win today."
Real Salt Lake, which was unlucky not to beat FC Dallas on the road in its opener a
week earlier, had never lost a home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium and looked to be in good shape when it opened the scoring in the 20th minute on a goal by Joao Plata.
But the LAFC
ripped apart the sluggish RSL defense, getting goals from Rossi and Latif Blessing three minutes apart to take a 2-1 halftime lead. Benny Feilhaber made it 3-1 in the 47th minute and the
game was a rout after Rossi and Carlos Vela added late goals.
Bradley said LAFC's response showed the confidence his players have in their abilities.
10 minutes were good," he said. "The next 10 minutes we got pushed deep and gave up the penalty, but I think we responded really well, started to make some really good passes and finished the game in
a really good way.”
LAFC has a bye next weekend and is off the weekend after that because of the FIFA break. Its next game won't be until March 31 when it plays the Galaxy for the
first time. What will LAFC do with the three-week break?